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New developments could ruin ‘Arrested’ for loyal fans

Courtesy of MCT

Since it was canceled back in 2006, “Arrested Development” has amassed one of the largest — or at least most vocal — cult followings in television history. Many critics and fans rightfully call it one of the greatest network comedies ever made and have spent the five years since its demise demanding more.

Last weekend, these fans got the news they wanted. Creator Mitch Hurwitz announced that he was not only working on an “Arrested Development” movie, but also 10 new episodes to serve as a prologue. Former cast members Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Tony Hale took to Twitter to confirm the claim.

There’s just one problem with this news: it doesn’t actually mean this is going to happen.

Hurwitz and his cast have been promising more “Arrested Development” since the moment it was canceled five years ago. By the time this movie comes out (allegedly 2013) it will have been seven years since the show ended. Ultimately, this announcement is just another example of Hurwitz kicking the can down the road. It provides a clearer picture of what he wants to accomplish, but it doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen. No studios have stepped up to pay for the endeavor. Hurwitz is going to need money. He doesn’t have it right now, and there’s no sign that he ever will.

And that is not the only question “Arrested Development” fans should be asking. The better question is whether any more of this beloved show is actually a good idea.

While it is true that the show did not last long enough – it only lasted 53 episodes while “Two and a Half Men” still trudges along at 180 episodes and counting – many would argue that cancellation spared us all the moment when it would inevitably decline in quality. “Arrested Development” was forced out while fans could still remember it fondly. If Hurwitz does bring the show back, there’s a distinct possibility that it will disappoint. If that is the case, would it be worth it?

In this writer’s opinion, it would not. Right now, “Arrested Development” is nearly-perfect, with a reputation that can only be tarnished by additional episodes and a movie. Plus, Hurwitz’s post-“Development” work hasn’t been too promising. He created two series (“Sit Down, Shut Up” and “Running Wilde”) that were quickly tossed aside, along with a couple of pilots which never even got off the ground.

This suggests that more “Arrested Development” might wind up as the “Star Wars” prequels of comedy, a misfire that angers fans more than it satisfies them. Those who celebrated this weekend’s news would wind up questioning why this project ever came to fruition. The joy of “Arrested Development” is that it never got the chance to disappoint, so it’s strange that Hurwitz seems intent on leaving this ominous door open. When you have a property as close to perfect as this, further tinkering can only be a mistake.

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